Mkilbride

One of the things that stands out about Muv Luv to me is that the "Childhood friend" is actually pretty good.

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Almost every Manga, anime, VN, the Childhood friend is awful. She's a whiny, naggy bitch, who dotes on the MC for no reason. She has as much personality as a stump, and is always willing to let the new challenger(i.e, Meiya), take her spot, mope about it, until 20 episodes into a 24 episode anime, she confesses after reaching a breaking point and then the MC says he loves the new girl, she smiles and accepts it.

 

For me, Sumika stands out in that she's fun, cute, and sure she nags Takeru alot, but not in the way some Childhood friends do. They also, actually care for each other besides romantics, in alot of these things, the Chilldhood friend just fades way from the MC's life after he chooses another girl, but Sumika is also, y'know, his friend and doesn't bail like that.

 

It's tremendously difficult to make a Childhood friend not a walking cliche or intolerably annoying. Usually the worst route in any VN is the Childhood friend. Just horrible.  I try and save them for last whenever I can.

Edited by Mkilbride

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If anything for the first half of Extra I couldn't understand why Sumika stuck around for Takeru given how poorly he treated Sumika. Got better in the second half.

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Seriously - I haven't laid hands on a woman in my living memory (outside of martial arts classes).  I had two younger sisters and while the "banter" got heated I never beat on them or any other girls.  When my (now ex-) wife attempted to stab me with a steak knife I simply disarmed her - no one would have faulted me for knocking her clean out, but I just can't do it.

This is why I find the interaction between Takeru and Sumika almost unbearable to watch.  It makes me want to wring his neck.  It's not funny or cute to me - it's just plain obnoxious.

That said, apparently I'm way outside of the norm since everyone else seems to find it "endearing."  I do agree that she's totally amazing for hanging with him through all of that crap, though.

Edited by rlranft

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On 8/12/2016 at 5:55 AM, rlranft said:

snip

When you think about it though, the reason men aren't meant to hit women is because we generally are stronger and can easily take a hit from them but a proper hit from a bloke could seriously hurt them. But in muv luv (and most animes) the girls seem to be just as strong, if not stronger. Most of the time Takeru hits sumika she hits him back harder so I don't really see an issue. Plus I think its meant to represent they've been together since they were toddlers who do hit each other regardless of gender.

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Yeah, they're friends, and friends do that kind of thing.

 

So it's ok when she hits him hard enough to orbit into space, but not when he hits her on the head for acting like a dumbass? Playfully do, it's not like he's trying to crack her head. Just a simple thud.

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Still don't get it - like I said, two younger sisters.  And I get the "since they were toddlers" thing - been there, done that, still never hit either of those girls.  Even when a girl has seriously tried to injure me I have never retaliated with force.  Guys rough-housing is one thing, but I was raised the way I was raised.

Personally, I much preferred the way Chizuru dealt with Takeru - scathing commentary and sarcasm.  Brains over brawn.

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Takeru would not hit a woman/girl, but since he sees Sumika as a friend and not a woman, he hit her like he would do with a male friend. It shows how strong their friendship is.

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On 8/14/2016 at 4:25 PM, rlranft said:

Still don't get it - like I said, two younger sisters.  And I get the "since they were toddlers" thing - been there, done that, still never hit either of those girls.  Even when a girl has seriously tried to injure me I have never retaliated with force.  Guys rough-housing is one thing, but I was raised the way I was raised.

Personally, I much preferred the way Chizuru dealt with Takeru - scathing commentary and sarcasm.  Brains over brawn.

I can understand you being raised that way, but in this day and age, many would call you sexist or chauvinistic for that kind of thinking.  I'm not saying I agree with that, but it's how things are now-a-days. My inner armchair-psychologist tells me that you feel that way because your sisters were younger - when you're an older brother, your role is to "protect" girls.  That's not to say that anyone who's a younger brother is more predisposed to hitting a woman, I'm just saying it's probably particularly upsetting to you due to your role as an older brother.

I also would like to clarify that I do not condone spousal abuse at all (regardless of gender), but the tone and context of Takeru and Sumika's bickering sufficiently justify their physical altercations.

In the context of Muv-Luv specifically, as FaceEater mentioned above me, Takeru does not hit girls. He hits Sumika (and eventually Meiya, when she starts acting like Sumika). She's just another one of the dudes. It's not a conscious thought. He just doesn't think of her as a girl, she's just his friend. This fact is a pivotal point in Sumika's character development throughout Extra. He and his friend (who just happens to be a woman) hit each-other occasionally. If you're concerned for Sumika's well being, keep in mind that Yuuko hit her with a car and she came out just fine. Extra is an intentionally exaggerated world. Him picking on her like that is a step-up from the playful flick on the forehead that we see in so many anime/manga.

I think gender is fairly inconsequential here, as long as she's getting him back (usually significantly harder than he hit her), I don't see the issue.

They both bicker like 5 year-olds, but he's definitely less mature than her, so the first 20-30 minutes of the game really makes Takeru quite unlikable.  Past that, I was mostly fine with him.  Except the usual dense MC nonsense (which is, of course, a parody of every other harem protagonist, so I can kinda see the merit in it).

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